Segregation and Diversity in American Cities
Racial segregation has been linked with many social and economic issues affecting communities today. Some social scientists say that segregation is decreasing, while others argue that segregation has not improved or is even getting worse. This lesson examines how we define, identify, and measure segregation. Key questions include:
- What does it mean for a community to be segregated?
- What does segregation “look like”?
- Are different groups of people segregated in different ways? are different cities?
- What is the relationship between diversity and segregation?
In this lesson, students use Social Explorer and readings to examine segregation in different places in the US, identifying where different populations live, their relationships to one another, and a variety of perspectives about what it means to be segregated. By examining an ongoing debate and census data, you will learn how to make an argument for measuring and comparing segregation and diversity in a meaningful and socially relevant way.
Here are three lessons, including readings and research assignments using Social Explorer:
- Segregation in your hometown
- Compare segregation in different cities
- The Milwaukee debate: How segregated are we?
- a very diverse neighborhood
- a neighborhood that is not diverse
- the neighborhood in which you live
Use these as examples to argue whether your city is segregated. In your paper, answer the following questions:
- How did you define the “neighborhood” for this essay, and why?
- How did you define segregation and diversity for this essay, and why?
- What data support your claims about each area? Create reports and/or maps in Social Explorer and reference the data in your essay.
- How would you respond to criticisms of your approach, such as those found in the readings about the Dissimilarity and 20-20 indices? Defend your approach.